Information & Library Science

Educational Background

We admit students with a wide variety of academic backgrounds. Academic diversity among our students and faculty has led to creativity and innovation.

We require the equivalent to a four-year U.S. Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university to be eligible for admissions.  A minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in undergraduate studies is needed.  And, a minimum of 3.2 in any graduate degree work is needed.  If you do not have this GPA, you are required to submit GRE (or GMAT) scores.  You may also submit an additional statement regarding your academic record.

Application Deadlines

Master of Library Science (MLS), Master of Information Science (MIS), Graduate Certificate in Information Architecture (GCIA), Specialist in Library and Information Science (SpLIS), and Non-Degree Seeking applications are processed on a rolling basis. and Ph.D. in Information Science applicants are required to complete their application by the deadline below to be considered. Additionally, any MLS, MIS, GCIA, and SpLIS student must complete their application by the second deadline below to be considered for department fellowships. Any MLS, MIS, GCIA, SpLIS or Non-Degree Seeking application completed after the deadline will still be reviewed for admission. International applicants are encouraged to apply at least 3 months before the start of classes.

ILS admits students to the Spring semester (starts in January) and Fall semester (starts in August) each year. ILS offers department fellowships to incoming students once per year in the fall semester. All applications for the Spring semester are automatically considered for department fellowships for the following Fall semester and no additional application is necessary.

  • PhD in Information Science December 1
  • MLS, MIS, GCIA and SpLIS Scholarship Consideration Deadline January 1

All application materials must be received by the deadline for consideration. If you are unsure of your status, please feel free to contact the ILS office at ilsmain@indiana.edu or at (812) 855-2018

How To Apply

All programs require that you submit your application online as well as the supporting documents below. The Resume/CV, Personal Goals Essay, Letters or Reference, and Writing Sample (if applicable) can be attached to the electronic application. If you need to submit materials by mail, send them to:

ILS Admissions
School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
Indiana University
700 N. Woodlawn Ave., Luddy Hall, Suite 2999C
Bloomington, IN 47408

Contact the ILS Admissions staff if you have questions about the process at ilsmain@indiana.edu or by phone (812)855-2018.

1. Transcripts

Official transcripts from every previous college (U.S. and international) attended should be sent directly from the institution to the Department of Information and Library Science.  Students enrolled in their Bachelor’s degree may apply.  We require an official transcript for the application – and then a final transcript showing the degree granted once available

If you attended Indiana University at any campus, we can print that transcript. If you completed less than 15 hours from a school, and if those courses are reflected on an official undergraduate transcript, you are not required to send that transcript.

2. Three letters of reference

Letters of Reference need to be from professors or employers who are familiar with your abilities and can estimate how well you would do in a rigorous graduate program in this field.  We will accept letters in any format, as long as contact information is included.

3. Resume/CV

Current curriculum vitae or resume.

4. Personal Goals Essay

Personal Goals Essays are important. MLS, MIS, GCIA, SpLIS and Non-Degree Seeking essays need to be a minimum of 500 words in length, and should describe your academic and professional goals. Professional jobs in the field of information and library science value leadership, teamwork, creativity, and the ability to work with people. For your essay, think about why you want to come to graduate school in this field. Your writing skills demonstrated in this statement are also considered as part of the admission decision. Essays should be in your own words, and written with academic integrity.

Ph.D. Applicants should follow the guidelines below for their Personal Goals Essay:
You must submit an 800-1,000 word statement of your professional goals that discusses your commitment to teaching and/or research in information science. Your statement should address the following questions:

  • Why do you want a Ph.D. in Information Science?
  • What areas of study in information science interest you? Please describe, either from a theoretical or an applied perspective, one or two research problems in information science that you believe are significant.
  • Why do you think researching these problems is (or will be) of major importance to information science?
  • How has your educational and/or professional work prepared you for study toward a Ph.D.?
5.GRE/GMAT Scores

GRE or GMAT scores are required for all Ph.D. applicants. GRE or GMAT are not required for all other applications, except:

  • if your undergraduate GPA was below 3.0
  • if your previous graduate GPA was below 3.2
  • if your first language is not English
  • if your degree is from an international college or university

We use the full information available in your application to evaluate.  Approximate GRE minimum scores expected are V=153, Q=144, and AW=4.0.  We will also look at the score percentages, since the tests vary some.  The Indiana University institutional code is 1324.  The ILS Library Science code is 4701, and the ILS Information Science code is 0404.

If your first language is not English, but you have completed a full bachelor's degree in the US, you can petition the ILS Director of Graduate Student Services to waive the GRE or GMAT tests.


TOEFL (minimum 100) scores are required if your first language is not English.  The IELTS (minimum 7.0) is an option, too.  International students should review the IU Admissions Standards for the Demonstration of English Proficiency.

If your first language is not English, but you have completed a full bachelor's degree in the US, you can petition the ILS Director of Graduate Student Services to waive the TOEFL

7. Writing Sample (Ph.D. Applicants Only)

The writing sample must be a single author work written by you. It can be a published journal article, a book chapter, a technical white paper, a grant proposal or a paper written for a course.

Joint Degree Programs

ILS offers a number of dual-degree programs with other units. When applying to a dual-degree program, you need to submit separate applications to each department. The admissions processing for each area is handled separately.

ILS Graduate Non-Degree Option

You can register as an ILS Graduate Non-Degree student and take up to six credit hours of graduate coursework - prior to admission - that, if admitted, would count towards your degree. Please feel free to contact the ILS Office for more information about the application process and your individual goals with the Non-Degree program.